Jammu and Kashmir

Taliban spokesperson says India should ‘have a positive approach’ to issues in Kashmir Valley

Published : August 27, 2021 14:45 IST

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid during a press conference in Kabul on August 24. Photo: HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP

Amid intense speculation of a spillover of the Afghanistan crisis into Kashmir, the Taliban has issued its first major statement on the Kashmir conflict and the Narendra Modi government’s policies vis-a-vis Kashmir.

Amid intense speculation of a spillover of the Afghanistan crisis into Kashmir, the Taliban has issued its first major statement on the Kashmir conflict and the Narendra Modi government’s policies vis-a-vis Kashmir.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson of the Taliban, said in an interview with Pakistan’s ARY News, a private channel, that India should “have a positive approach” towards the Kashmir Valley. The Taliban’s statement, though subtle and circumspect, is being interpreted as an expression of its unease with the Modi government’s hard-fisted policies in Kashmir.

Mujahid also touched upon the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, stating that the two nuclear-armed countries should “sit together” and resolve the matters. He said that “both are neighbours and their interests are linked to each other”.

Although the Taliban has said that it would like India to complete its infrastructural projects in Afghanistan, Mujahid gave indications about the Taliban’s proximity with Pakistan and how the geopolitical equations might shape up in foreseeable future. Talking about the cultural and religious ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said that the Taliban see Pakistan as their “second home”.

“Afghanistan shares its borders with Pakistan. We are traditionally aligned when it comes to religion; the people of both countries mingle with each other. So we are looking forward to further deepening of ties with Pakistan," Zabihullah Mujahid said in the interview.

The Taliban spokesperson asked India to consider the interest of Afghans. He said: “Our desire is that India devises its policy as per the interests of Afghan people.”

Mujahid said that the Taliban would soon create an inclusive administration in which all Afghans will be a part. “We want a government in Afghanistan that is strong and based on Islam and which all Afghans are part of. We are working on it and wait until we succeed in forming a strong and stable government,” he said.

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